This locomotive was built in 1944 by the Hunslet Engine Company for the Ministry of Defence. It then entered service as WD 75118. Between January 1954 and December 1955 the locomotive carried the name King Feisal.
See LNER class J94 for details.
The locomotive was delivered new to Bicester which was a Royal Airforce station.
It served at home and abroad during the last two years of the war.
After the war the locomotive carried the number 134 in line with the renumbering of the Ministry of Defence locomotives.
In February 1959 the locomotive was moved to Old Dalby near Mrlton Mowbray which was a Technical Stores Depot. It left there in May 1963 when it went to Long Marston in Warwickshire.
It was bought by the NCB and moved to the Allerton Bywater Workshops in Yorkshire in September 1965 before going to Primrose Hill Colliery Swillington in March 1966.
The locomotive then moved to Allerton Bywater in March 1971, Newmarket Colliery in June 1978, Allerton Bywater in July 1978, Wheldale Colliery in November 1981.
It would appear the National Coal Board (NCB) simply added the prefix S to make it S134.
Whilst it was at Wheldale, two ladders were fitted to the sides of the tank, to allow for easier access to the tank filler. These have been retained and serve as a good way of recognising the locomotive.
The locomotive moved to the Yorkshire Dales Railway at Embsay (later Embsay & Bolton Steam Railway) in November 1982.
Wheldale arrived at the railway in good mechanical condition, but required a new set of boiler tubes – thankfully the money was raised for these quickly, and the loco was returned to service for a ten year spell until its boiler certificate expired mid way through the 1990’s.
A sad, forlorn looking Wheldale can be viewed at Bolton Abbey Station – at the far end of the platform. It’s expected to move to Embsay soon when restoration starts in earnest.
Wheldale is now owned by Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, and a huge fundraising effort is underway to fund its restoration which is expected to cost in excess of £100,000.
In August 2019 it was reported that after many years in storage the locomotive had been moved to the workshops at Embsay. Dismantling work then commenced at the start of what was then expected to be a £300,000 overhaul. At that time more than £130,000 had been raised.